Pork Belly Pastrami
1 kg. Pork belly, skin removed
2 tbsp. curing salt #1
I recommend picking these items up at Acme Meat Market, located at 9531-76 ave. (780) 433-1812, but most butcher shops should carry this
From the Pantry
3 tbsp. kosher salt
2 tbsp. sugar
4 tbsp. black mustard seeds
3 tbsp. coriander
3 tbsp. five peppercorn blend
This is a basic recipe for a 1 kg. piece of pork belly. You may have to increase or decrease the recipe based on the size of belly you purchase, don’t worry, this recipe isn’t an exact science
- Combine curing salt, kosher salt, and sugar
- Lightly rub the salt mixture into the pork belly, being sure to coat ALL SIDES evenly, but not too densely
- Place on a baking sheet or plate and place in the fridge, uncovered, this will need to be in the fridge for four days, turning the meat over occasionally, and draining away any excess juices. The idea is to dry out the meat and allow the salts to remove the moisture and cure it, it will discolor slightly, but don’t be too concerned
- Once the four days are up, rinse the pork belly under cold water to remove any excess salt, you want it salted, but not too salty! Pat dry
- At this point, if you have a smoker, this is a great opportunity to impart some more flavour by cold smoking the pork belly. I recommend an applewood chip for the best flavour. If you don’t have a smoker, don’t sweat it, you can still make tasty pastrami!
- Prepare a bath to steam the pork belly in. You need to create a double boiler of some sorts, where the water is below, with an area up top to place the meat. You could even use a vegetable steamer, but don’t tell your wife that you want to use her vegetable steamer to make pastrami, they don’t seem to like that!
- Once the steamer is steaming, combine the remaining spices and work it into the top half of the pork belly
- Place in the steamer, spices facing up, and allow to cook until cooked through, 30-45 minutes, depending on how efficient your steamer set up is.
- Once cooked, hand slice it real thin and serve it with some hot mustard on rye bread, or allow it to cool and slice super thin like cold cuts. Enjoy the fruits of your labour!